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post #31 of 42 Old 11-05-2007, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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porksnorkel's Avatar expected i've gotten very little done today. spent most of my available time trying to figure out what kinda doors i wanted, and looking at door hardware. in the end i decided to go w/ my original idea of removable doors. the prefab doors are alredy stained and very expensive. i was gonna make some hinged doors, but it's a bit complex and the hardware and another sheet of plywood would easily cost an extra 60 or 70 dollars. w/ removable doors i can at least use the wood that i cut the holes from. the only drawbacks are having to set them aside when i'm working under the tank, and no ability to mount food and med racks to the insides of the doors. on the bright side they are easier to make and cheaper, and i won't have the doors in the way when i'm doing maintenance. i have 1 sheet cut and am half way through the other. i may get both sheets cut this week, but that will be about it.:wallbash::wallbash:
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post #32 of 42 Old 11-06-2007, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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well scratch that. i did get a few things done today. i picked my trim out this morning and bought it. over 100 bucks and i think i'll need a bit more. had to finish cutting the front panels and get them screwed on. here's how it went...

i had to pick the side i wanted and which end would go up first. i then layed the sheet, top side down, across the 2 stands to cut and measure [making sure i was not gonna cut the stand].

i measured 5" from top / 5" from outside panel to outside door / 34-1/2" from outside panel to inside door / 31-1/2 from top panel to bottom of door. it took me forever to figure out how to do this. i had to call on some exteme porkgenuity to make sure everything was right before i screwed up 30$ worth of wood.

i bought this thing to help me cut a straight line. verdict....useless w/ a jigsaw. it causes the blade to bind and cock sideways. it does however make a great straightline tracer.

i used this set up, in addition to a free hand, to keep the wood from falling or sagging to much on the last 2 cuts.

here's a finished panel about to be installed. i did run a line of glue between the side panel edge and the front panel edge, to help keep them from warping. the first one went pretty well, but the second had line up issues again. this was mostly from a warped side panel that was left leaning on something for a week before install.

post install

side panel warpage gap

attempt to repair side panel warpage. i'll leave this on till next week and see what happens.

here's a shot from behind at the lip of the front panel bottom door hole. the lip is there to lock the door. i'll explain later on.

lip at side of door hole to brace door a bit.

before i put the door lock thingy's on, i made sure to match each door to the same hole it was cut from. otherwise they wouldn't fit well, do to cut inconsistencies.

here's how i installed the lower door "lock thingy".basically the door is flush w/ the front panel, so i have to have something to keep the bottom of the doors locked in and lined up. i used scrap 2x4's to make these. the 2x4's will also keep the trim from being damaged when i lean them against the stand for cleaning.

since the lip at the bottom of the panel is 1'' , the 2x4's must stick out about 1-1/8" . this keeps the bottom of the panel from rubbing on the bottom of the door. also helps w/ removal and replacement.

prior to glueing the 2x4's in place i did a test run w/ 2 screws at each end of the 2x4, only halfway screwed in. had to do this to make sure the 2x4's didn't stick out to much, causing the top of the door to rub the panel.

all panels installed and door bottom locks on.

trim selection

trim saw...not the easiest thing to use, but gets the job done, and under 20$. i had been using this to do my flooring trim.

part of door trim cut. i forgot the measurements, but it overhangs 3/4" on sides and 1/2' on bottom. the the 3/4" sides are to cover screws in front panel. this is gonna be the worst part for me i think. difficult to get squared on. see how it goes next week.
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post #33 of 42 Old 11-12-2007, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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feelin good about it now. things are coming along and i can smell victory! had an extra day this week to work. here's what's new...

the door trim was ruff to get started. first i leveled the stand lengthwise. [my garage has a nasty slope and some lumps.]

then i measured about 1.5" on either side to center up the top piece. [this point meets the inside tip of the trim on either side]. i left the 1/2 " overhang for the top trim and marked the 2 ends. on the cabinet face for an approximate reference. the long line u see is to help me line things up. a bit of a jugling act. 1 hand holds the level and trim, the other shoots nails. i shot the first nail in the middle, so i could still level the ends

a little glue and then ready the brad nailer gun. 1.25" nails were to long, but oh well. i figure if it bothers me then i'll just cover it w/ some thin woodstrips. for now i just cut the leftover nails off the back of the doors.

after tacking down the first strip, i just add a new strip to the last. i used the right angle to keep things as square as possible. they were difficult to keep straight, because the nail gun is pretty violent. each piece should be cut as u go,btw. i measured from the outside point. can be a trial and error process, but only the very last piece can be a loss, because u just move ur imperfect cuts to the next door. by imperfect i mean, slightly off measurement...not wrong angle cuts or backwards angles.

the key hole was also a challenge...and almost disaster. i'll explain next pic. first i drilled through the back of the door w/ a 1/2" spade. coulda used a hole bore bit, but couldn't find the right size.

first i found my center the used the lock arm to get my distance from top. u'll see the lock arm later. the lock requires a 1/2" hole, so the main hole must be 1/2". the trim ring for the lock however needs a 3/4" hole. the problem here is i cannot now drill w/ a hole saw, because i have no wood to "pilot" into.

the solution...i happened to have this vhs tape rack w/ 1/2" dowels in it. {macguver in action folks. pay attention,lol}

i first clamped the trim to keep it from seperating. then i marked the dowel in the center and notched it, so i could line up my drill. the dowel is twisted up into the hole from the bottom.

now i drilled w/ the 3/4" hole saw. when i got near the door panel, i just blipped the drill trigger while eye balling my depth. a lil bit to far and the door will be marred by the bit teeth. this is not a repairable mistake on this type of wood.

here's what it looks like after.

now i just twist the dowel up to pop the trimmed hole out. [remember i can't go all the way through it w/ the hole saw or the door will be destroyed. so the cut piece is still attached.]

here's the lock installed. i used drawer locks for 9/16th's wood. they come w/ several different lock arms. i used the 2" and a 180d cam lock.

all 4 doors installed. the doors lean out at this point. i'll show u how i fixed that next.
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post #34 of 42 Old 11-12-2007, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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here's some cabinet door retainers i installed to keep the tops of the doors flush. they work great except on 2 door corners that are warped. at these corners i installed 2 retainers. very pleased for the most part. 2 of the doors are a bit tight to remove and install, but no biggie. still fairly simple.

here's the strikers installed. this is a shot from the back of the cabinet. i also bent the lock arms, which also helps keep the door tops flush.

the rest of this DIY will not include how to descriptions. all that's left is the outer trim and stain, which is your preference, i will say this part is difficult too. i'm having trouble leveling the stands, so i used measurements to keep the trim straight. the rosettes, i don't really like, but i needed them to cover up the side panel screws. no way around it.

side trim...upper...

the doors flushed...

trying to straighten a door...

more tommorrow...
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post #35 of 42 Old 11-13-2007, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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almost home folks. some touch ups and stain will spell victory.

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post #36 of 42 Old 11-13-2007, 11:28 PM
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Originally Posted by porksnorkel
Nice. Good luck.

Sent from my desktop or phone or whatever else I am holding on to  2
I'm ready for the pressure.
The drama and the pleasure!
If there is one thing I want to see here, it's HUMOR.
I believe I can fly!
I believe I can touch the sky!
I think about it every night and day!
I stand in awe of my body.
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post #37 of 42 Old 11-24-2007, 08:52 AM
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Those are beautiful!!! Great job!
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post #38 of 42 Old 11-24-2007, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys. won't be long now. just finishing the stain this week.
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post #39 of 42 Old 12-01-2007, 07:39 AM
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I've noticed in shopping used tanks for a while that a lot of the salt tanks hardware on the stand starts to rust.

Maybe for a preventative, you should put smear some silicone over all of your bolts before you put the tank in the bottom. (Just on the inside of your cabinet)

Just an idea.
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post #40 of 42 Old 12-01-2007, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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my 125g's made it onto the DIY stands today. 11 vertebrae were lost in the process.

the stands kinda overpower the tanks don't they? at 37" they are almso twice the tank height. i'll have to do some extravagant aquascaping to keep the eye on the tanks.
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